Muah! Darlings, wonderful to meet you! I’m so glad you all signed up for my seminar today with me, the infamous Mrs. White! You ladies can call me Blanche, and while some time has passed since I first got into the game, I can tell you I still feel as smart, sassy, and sexy as I did right out of the box. I’m delighted you could join me here at Bergdorf’s for this coaching experience.
Strap yourselves in gals, I’m about to show you how to play to win. Hot tip numero Uno? Muster up your courage! Even if it’s the kind you’re not entirely sure you possess. Make careful observations, learn to put two and two together, possibly even Connect Four when you have to, and use what you learn to advance your station and win at The Game of Life. Now, if you’ll all open your seminar handouts, I’ll break it down and walk you through it. Let’s get started…
Many of you may not know that I grew up poor and alone in New York City. My dad was in the navy, died in the war – they sunk his Battleship! My mom, suddenly widowed with a four year old, overworked and underpaid, Scrabbled along best she could until she died from complications after an Operation! when I was twelve. Shipped off to an orphanage, the nuns who ran it were kindly, but I never had a place or anything of my own. I dreamt of Trivial Pursuits and the gorgeous and glittery things I had gotten a glimpse of in Manhattan. My goal was to amass wealth and security, my own personal Candyland. Winning, to me, meant being completely free.
Contents of the Game:
These are the things I’ve acquired over the course of my lifetime. Let me tell you girls, I was lucky enough to love the hustle. As a result, I’ve got a considerable amount of cash stashed at my local bank and a wide variety of real estate holdings along the waterfront in Atlantic City. There’s also a rambling estate with nine rooms, including a study, kitchen, ballroom, conservatory, billiard room, library, hall, lounge, dining room, and cellar. Oh, if those rooms could talk! Of course, I can’t forget my little scottie dog – every gal needs a protector and partner in crime, right? Strewn about here and there are other accoutrements like a top hat, a thimble, a boot, a wheelbarrow, a cat, a racing car, and a battleship. And while I don’t share this info with just anyone, <Blanche leans in and winks conspiratorially at her attentive audience> I’ve found it helps to keep a toolbox of tricks somewhere handy: a candlestick, a wrench, a rope, a lead pipe, a knife, and a revolver.
Object of the Game:
Obviously, the object of the game is to win. Always. If you didn’t know that already, you wouldn’t be here paying for my expertise. Keep it simple stupid is what they always say. And I always did. <Blanche waves her slightly shaky, but well-manicured and Bejeweled hand across the room, palm up, open wide, Vanna White style, at the ladies who are lunching beyond the workshop group in the Bergdorf’s cafe.> Look at all of these Hungry, Hungry Hippos out there doing the best they can to keep up! No one has a Monopoly on youth, you know, and it’s a damn shame. It’s not easy today, to hook a wealthy man and reel him in…some of these silly bitches haven’t eaten anything but lettuce and air for weeks!
How To Play:
At 18, I left the orphanage, took a Risk and found a job at a resort in Atlantic City. I kept my eyes open and my mouth shut and stayed out of Trouble. While other women traded their bodies, playing Twister with any gangster that would give them the time of day, I traded information. For protection and legitimacy, I sought out and seduced the richest man in town. His name was Simon. It took some serious Concentration, patience, and effort on my part, but in the end, he made me his wife.
Taking A Turn:
Some women leave it all up to the old Magic 8 Ball. Give it a shake, maybe it tells you “Outlook good” or “Signs point to yes” but it could also tell you to “Ask again later” or “Cannot predict now”. Take the world by the balls ladies! Don’t let anyone hold you back by telling you it’s not your turn! Don’t apologize, never say you’re Sorry! Get out there and dive in – because you only live once, so you better take every chance you get and make the most of it.
See “Contents” above. It all adds up.
Winning doesn’t ensure happiness, so I would say happiness is a definite bonus. What made me happy? Being married to Simon wasn’t always easy. Sometimes, it was a downright bore. He was such a damn know-it-all. But my children brought so much joy to my life. Even now, in the summers, when the grandchildren visit the beach compound and we stroll the boardwalk, I smile and think to myself, Yahtzee! I have a full house and I love every raucous minute of it!
Ending A Game:
In the end, I eventually tired of having to listen to Simon’s repetitive blathering. “Simon says” this and “Simon says” that…all day long! We sat down to a lovely dinner in the conservatory one snowy evening last year and after a dessert of delicious poached pears, I cracked him over the head with the candlestick. He never even saw it coming, bless his heart. He never had a Clue.
I’d like to thank you all for coming today and I hope you’ll join me again next month for my presentation “How To Dispose of A Body Without Breaking A Nail.” Muah!
Meg Leahy is a writer, counselor, educator, and coach living outside Philadelphia. She believes people should talk less and laugh more, and her life goal is to find a low-humidity beach town where she can do just that. When not writing ADHD textbooks or about mental health and wellness, Meg is the ¡Live Mas! In-House Life Coach at Taco Bell Quarterly and was most recently published in The Maternal Journal. Check out her work of all kinds on www.megleahy.com and find her on the twitter @insideADHD
image: Suzy Hazelwood